5 Great T20I Knocks by Virat Kohli that don't fade away

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his half-century against Australia

Virat Kohli is easily the most precious wicket for any opposition that is playing against India. Kohli, the one who wears his heart on his sleeves, is surprisingly ice-cool when it comes to high-pressure situations. The big match player knows how to soak the tough times and has the precision of a needle when it comes to timing the chases.

A look at Kohli’s numbers show he is the world’s best chaser in ODIs as well as in T20Is and his exploits have made chasing his signature. The stylish right-hander holds the record for most half-centuries in T20Is. However, that is not the only reason why he is so highly regarded. The man who has a Bradmanesque average of over 50 in T20s plays pure cricketing shots, still strikes at over 130 and has got out in single digits only five times in 38 innings, an indicator of how he cannot be easily frazzled.

There have been several unforgettable moments throughout his T20 career that don’t fade away, quite like the Axe Signature line of body perfumes. Here are 5 innings which will remain in the fans' memories for a long time:

82* v Australia, Mohali, 2016

Virat Kohli MS Dhoni
Virat Kohli goes down on the ground after MS Dhoni hit the winning runs against Australia

This is arguably the greatest T20I innings chasing, not just of his own career. Kohli was a one-man batting line-up in a do or die situation, helping India beat Australia to reach the Semi-final of the 2016 T20 World Cup. After the innings, Kohli’s average in the second innings in wins touched an incredible 122.8, almost superhuman.

Chasing 161 in a must-win game, India were 49 for 3 in the 8th over, requiring more than 10 per over from there on. India managed to score more than 60 runs in the last 5 overs thanks to a special effort by Kohli. He ended the match 82* adding 67 with MS Dhoni who had scored just 18 in that partnership.

Kohli’s 82 came off 51 balls at a strike-rate of 161, with 9 fours and 2 sixes, mostly classy, conventional cricketing shots. In the end India, romped home with 5 balls to spare, but anyone who watched the match will know Kohli single-handedly pulled victory from the jaws of defeat.

72* v South Africa, Mirpur, 2014

Virat Kohli South Africa
Yuvraj Singh lifts Kohli after the latter helped India reach the final of the 2014 T20 World Cup

The Semi-Final of the 2014 T20 World Cup. A high-pressure knock-out match. Kohli delivered and that too in some style. Batting first, South Africa posted 172 on a sluggish wicket thanks to a half-century from Faf du Plessis. But, India chased it down in some style thanks to an unbeaten 72 from Kohli. Known for his risk-free cricket, India's vice-captain stroked five fours and two sixes in his 44 ball knock going at a strike-rate of 163 to ensure India got to 176 in just 19.1 overs.

Kohli’s Man of the Match winning knock started in the fourth over from where he saw India through right till the end even as he lost three partners. He made sure he added 38 with Rahane and 56 with Yuvraj Singh to make sure there was never any pressure.

55* v Pakistan, Kolkata, 2016

Virat Kohli
Pakistani players congratulate Kohli after his half-century helped India win at Eden Gardens

India never lost a World Cup game to Pakistan in 10 previous encounters but this one looked tough on an extremely difficult pitch that had turned square. Pakistan posted 118, which seemed like a challenging total. To make things difficult, India were 23 for three in the fifth over with Mohammad Sami on fire. However, Kohli came on and it looked as if he was batting on a different strip compared to others.

Yuvraj Singh scoring 24 off 23 added 61 with Kohli for the fourth wicket. However, it was Kohli’s sublime touch that looked invincible that day as he scored 55* off just 37 balls with 7 fours and a six. A strike-rate of close to 149 looked unbelievable given the situation, the pitch and the pressure. Every knock against arch-rivals counts for much more and this will go down as one of the best T20I innings of all time under pressure, during a chase.

90* v Australia, Adelaide, 2016

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli hit 90 from 55 balls to help India beat Australia

Kohli is the king of all chases, but this innings certainly shows he can pack a serious punch even when the team has to set a target. Batting on a track where the ball was coming on nicely onto the bat, Kohli showed sublime touch and great class to score his best of 90* in just 55 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes. That came against a bowling attack that had Shaun Tait, James Faulkner and Shane Watson. That came playing away from home and it pushed India to 188.

India defended the score well as Australia were all out for 151 giving India an easy victory. That innings by Kohli came at a strike-rate of 163 and him remaining unbeaten at the end playing for 16 of the 20 overs showed how he is one of the most efficient modern day batsmen.

56* v Sri Lanka, Dhaka, 2016

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli in action against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup

India won the Asia Cup thanks largely to couple of brilliant knocks from Virat Kohli. One of them was against Sri Lanka chasing 138 on a slightly dicey and sticky wicket. India were 16 for two in the fourth over but Kohli once again anchored the chase beautifully, adding 54 for the third wicket and 51 for the fourth wicket.

Eventually, India reached 142 in the 20th over, but once again it was Kohli’s calm head that made sure Sri Lanka didn’t mount the pressure. The fact that he won it by staying till the end makes the knock all the more precious compared to some other good ones like his fighting 77 in the 2014 World T20 Final against the same team, which came in a losing cause.

Edited by Staff Editor


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